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The amount of new malware files detected per day in 2016 increased to 323,000, said researchers at Kaspersky Lab.

That is an increase of 13,000 from the amount in 2015, and a huge jump from the 70,000 files per day identified in 2011.

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The number of cyber threats appearing every day is now so big it is impossible to process each one of them manually. That’s why automating the malware discovery and analysis process, in combination with human expertise, is the best approach when it comes to fighting modern cyber threats, the researchers said.

With that in mind, the Kaspersky Lab cloud malware database, includes discoveries by Astraea – a machine-learning based malware analysis system working inside the Kaspersky Lab infrastructure.

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Over one fifth of the malicious objects included in the cloud database ended up discovered and identified as malicious by Astraea. The database now carries a billion malicious objects, including viruses, Trojans, backdoors, ransomware, and advertisement applications and their components.

The percentage of malware discovered and added automatically to the Kaspersky Lab cloud database by Astraea has been growing steadily over the last five years: from 7.53 percent in 2012, to 40.5 percent in December 2016. The proportion is growing in line with the number of new malicious files discovered daily.

“One billion unique malicious files is a remarkable milestone. It shows the scale of the cybercriminal underground, which has developed from several small forums offering customized malicious tools, to the mass production of malware and tailored cybercriminal services,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of the anti-malware team at Kaspersky Lab.

“It also highlights the quality and evolution of our automated malware analysis technologies. Out of these billion files, more than 200 million have been added by the Astraea machine-learning system. Our advanced systems now not only detect the vast majority of known malware we get on a daily basis, but also discover unknown threats. Although the remaining 800 million files have been added by other internal detection systems, or by experts, the contribution to the Kaspersky Lab cloud database by machine-learning systems is substantial and will continue to grow.”

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